‘That’s the only sensible vehicle to use today,’ I was told by a cheery chap with a chainsaw this afternoon, as I cycled into Bigtown in the aftermath of Hurricane Trampoline. I was taking a slightly circuitous route as the postman – who had not made it through until lunchtime – had warned me of serious road closures: there were apparently police cars in attendence at *incomprehensible* even though *unintelligible* had managed to cut a hole in the big trees down at *completely indecipherable* (I still haven’t quite got the hang of the postman’s accent after 5 years). Fortunately, chainsaw man and his ilk had managed to clear away all of the fallen trees from the road I took and so I wasn’t forced to hoik my bike over any trunks. Being able to get over or around such obstacles is all very well in theory, but I suspect in practice it might be beyond my upper body strength…
Anyway, as well as bringing travel advice, the postie also delivered my new hat (yes, it’s taken me this long to get around to ordering it) so it got a bit of a work out on the ride in. So far I can confirm that a Harris tweed flat cap is proof against sudden snow showers, hail, low winter sun and rain; its performance during a plague of frogs is as yet untested. Unfortunately, as I had to order a 55 cm hat – being the smallest size available in proper Harris tweed, as children only deserve a polyester-wool blend apparently – it is a little precarious in cross wind. As is cycling with one hand on your brakes and one hand holding your hat on, as it happens, so I may need to get myself a bit of ribbon or something to adjust its size to fit a pinhead like me. It is also – as I discovered on the ride home – absolutely toasty warm. Even riding home eight miles into an icy headwind, I ended up with a slightly sweaty head. So possibly a summer solution may also be needed (although then again, that depends on the summer)
Icy headwind or no, I was at least rewarded on the ride home by a glorious evening sky, complete with the merest sliver of a fingernail moon and (I’m guessing) Venus rising beneath it. There’s something about the winter sky through the trees as darkness falls that I will never get tired of.
Especially now I know I can keep my head nice and warm while I admire it.